Because of certain project related to Traveler's Notebook, I had a chance to meet a well known Hong Kong collector Alan Cheung. He collects postcards, tickets, matchboxes etc but most importantly he is a tram lover and has a sizable collection of Hong Kong Tramways and Star Ferry artifacts.
2 hours easily passed talking to him in person. He shared a lot through explaining each book and artifact he brought out, while I told him about my Dad's obsession in authenticating old Chinese paintings, which actually has a lot in common with Mr. Cheung's obsession.
I believe many Traveler's Notebook users didn't really get it, I mean the whole purpose of naming the notebook "Traveler's" is not really because it is for travel journaling, it is for everyday use. When you travel, your mind is wide open, you capture new things and you are inspired by all the geological and cultural differences. It is this very same exposure Traveler's Notebook wants you to have, only on everyday basis. Imagine the huge difference this sense of adventure, openness and discovery can bring to you each and everyday! You look at everything from a fresh pair of eyes, the future is just bright.
Well, transportation has a lot to do with this concept isn't it? Without the first ferry, there would be no traffic between islands, without the first plane there would be no colorful culture clashes, let alone higher human awareness on a global scale. Transportation break boundaries and induce discovery. Transportation enabled travel, but also enabled everything which follows, for better or for worse. A simple, tasteful notebook you carry representing something that huge, yet inspiring you to have personal adventures to break daily boundaries, is GREAT stationery!
On the contrary to great stationery, I was one of the judges to facilitate an office table to win the grand award of the Hong Kong Stationery Award last week. An office table! Shameful! It doesn't represent Hong Kong, it is not stationery enough, it has no innovation despite some merits of being X kilograms lighter than a typical one…. . Any trade fair participants could have won the grand award if they ever submitted. I was relieved the clock punching machine only made it to the top 4th, geee. The whole thing was just a mechanism to give trade show participants a false hope to be recognized. A true award should have a personality to seek great stuffs by a clear set of principles and believes, anyway I can't be on that panel next year, they didn't listen and improve from last year.
A few hours of flight from HK to China 2 weeks ago, the situation is even… sigh. These Eiffel Tower name card stands were sold 1/3 of the typical retail price, they all have the same packaging design of the real ones. Only that the packaging print quality were terrible, alright maybe they were being over priced in developed countries, but they are really just copying exactly the look and cared nothing about quality. All of them were not able to stand on all 4 feet, one even had a distorted profile.
I don't mean to devalue commerce, no typical soul has the luxury to pursue higher values if bread is not made to the table. But I invite those who are on the upper level of Maslow's hierarchy to go beyond paper and pen, beyond products and commerce, to plant seeds to the future by taking a small chunk of your time just to reflect what it means to create value. Now I have to work on some superficial numbers and things, so that I can have those small chunks of time. Cheers.